6.7/10
376
7 user 4 critic

Killer Diller (2004)

PG-13 | | Drama, Music | March 2004 (USA)
Trailer
1:49 | Trailer
A guitar playing car thief meets an autistic savant piano player, and together they transform a group of reluctant halfway house convicts into The Killer Diller Blues Band.

Director:

Tricia Brock

Writers:

Clyde Edgerton (novel), Tricia Brock (screenplay)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

After a disastrous debut on the pro circuit, a young golfer finds himself unexpectedly stranded in Utopia, Texas and welcomed by an eccentric rancher.

Director: Matthew Dean Russell
Stars: Lucas Black, Robert Duvall, Melissa Leo
Age of Summer (2018)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A determined teenage boy struggles to find acceptance within the Jr. Lifeguards of Hermosa Beach while juggling relationships and challenges in the summer of 1986.

Director: Bill Kiely
Stars: Peter Stormare, Brian Van Holt, Percy Hynes White
Deepwater (2005)
Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A drifter comes to the town of Deepwater and is seduced into a twisted game of deceit and murder.

Director: David S. Marfield
Stars: Lucas Black, Peter Coyote, Mía Maestro
Bravetown I (2015)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Josh a talented DJ, comes to a small town, where he finds love, and a friend. A place he never would have thought he'd belong.

Director: Daniel Duran
Stars: Laura Dern, Maria Bello, Josh Duhamel
The Failures (2003)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

It all starts when Lilly embalms the school mascot, crashes her father's car into her mother's tombstone and ends up trying to help William kill himself. From there things started to get a ... See full summary »

Director: Tim Hunter
Stars: Ashley Johnson, Chad Lindberg, Seth Adkins
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When two estranged friends are reunited at a funeral, they embark on a night in Los Angeles. In an attempt to discover the city, they discover themselves.

Directors: Peter Shanel, Peter Kline
Stars: Ben Duhl, Kurt Haas, Michelle Gillette
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Leo Spivak is drifting through life without a compass. His father is aging fast, his teenage daughter is rebelling, his protégé is after his job and his wife is losing her patience. A twist... See full summary »

Director: Peter Riegert
Stars: Peter Riegert, Frank Wood, Jake Hoffman
Grad Night (2006)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1.7/10 X  

Nine friends one crazy night, grad night.

Director: Michael T. Fitzgerald Jr.
Stars: Coolio, Sam Sarpong, Aloma Wright
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An abused wife heads to California to become a movie star while her nephew back in Alabama has to deal with a racially-motivated murder involving a corrupt sheriff.

Director: Antonio Banderas
Stars: Melanie Griffith, David Morse, Lucas Black
Otis (2008)
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Suburban America gone haywire. In the midst of a serial abductor/killer's rampage, a beautiful young teen, Riley Lawson, goes missing. When her desperate parents, Will and Kate, are ... See full summary »

Director: Tony Krantz
Stars: Tarah Paige, Bostin Christopher, Ashley Johnson
Nearing Grace (2005)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In the shadow of a family loss, the youngest son develops interest in an attractive high school classmate, paying little mind of her athletic boyfriend or of his own female best friend.

Director: Rick Rosenthal
Stars: Gregory Smith, Jordana Brewster, Ashley Johnson
Columbus Day (2008)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A thief tries to fix the damage done during the biggest heist of his career.

Director: Charles Burmeister
Stars: Val Kilmer, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Richard Edson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Lee Scott ... Wesley
Lucas Black ... Vernon
Fred Willard ... Ned
John Michael Higgins ... Deermont
W. Earl Brown ... Holister
Taj Mahal ... J.R. Cox
Mary Kay Place ... Dr. Gwen Bradley
Robert Wisdom ... Moker
Ashley Johnson ... Angie
Niki J. Crawford ... Shanita
RonReaco Lee ... Ben
Lawrence Lowe Lawrence Lowe ... Lonnie
Jared Tyler Jared Tyler ... Raymond
Davenia McFadden Davenia McFadden ... Deputy Rhodell Larkin
Matt Clark ... Barge Captain
Edit

Storyline

A guitar playing car thief meets an autistic savant piano player, and together they transform a group of reluctant halfway house convicts into The Killer Diller Blues Band.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Trouble brought them together. The music set them free.

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

March 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bottleneck See more »

Filming Locations:

Columbia, Missouri, USA

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,346, 30 April 2006

Gross USA:

$20,795

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,795
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

While filming on the Missouri River, cell phone service was lacking. William Lee Scott had to turn to the local Police Chief. He borrowed his phone to check on his wife who was expecting a child. See more »

Connections

Remake of The Car Kid (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Judge Boushay's Blues
Written by Furry Lewis
Arranged by Tree Adams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
interesting film but inaccurate towards autism
22 March 2004 | by AerocitizenSee all my reviews

First and foremost this film is about the blues and the story of a juvenile

delinquent stuck in a baptist halfway-house who must play in a sappy christian band with fellow halfway-house delinquents when they really just want to play the blues. In this respect, the film was interesting and relatively well made. The story arc was laid out plain and predictable, but still enjoyable enough.

My criticism of the film comes when the film's autistic character Verne enters the story as a piano prodigy with an affinity for driving an invisible fantasy car. To me, this portrayal of autism is marred by typical on-screen half-truths that breed ignorance in understanding this unfortunate disorder. I will state plainly,

however, that I am certainly not an expert in defining autism, nor do I know any autistic people. However, it is clear to see that Killer Diller was not accurate. They started with trueish conceptions of autism: that those who have it have

communication disorders, preoccupation with fantasy, repetitive acts and

attachment to objects.

However, Verne, the autistic character in this film, was more less portrayed as a late-teens autistic child who has apparently never received significant treatment for his condition and thus he is basically just a socially awkward kid who drives an invisible car, shakes all the time, has to pee all the time, and goes beserker when anyone questions his "rocking." But in the end, with just a little bit of socializing and positive feedback about his piano skills, Verne is another autism success story, able to at once overcome what would have been severe speech

impediments, years of social disfunction and other problems all without

treatment, therapy or any real help.

The problem with this is that it looks like the film makers just watched Rainman and watered down the formula. All autistic children, of course, will overcome their most severe problems sometime in adulthood through random coincidence

and socialization. Afterall, their speech impediments are never really all that limiting, really just idiosyncrasies to be overcome with a few laughs. But this is resonable since all autistic people are really just idiot savants in hiding.

Rainman is a counting genius and Verne from Killer Diller is a piano prodigy.

This, to me, is dangerous, the concept of always simplifying disorders into cute, manageable characters who can overcome their "hang-ups" in 90 mins or two

hours. I'm not saying either cases are inconceivable, but the sad truth is that the communication problems caused by autism are typically overcome after

considerable work with a doctor, etc. from EARLY childhood. Verne, especially, is a case that in which the character is supposedly not treated or not thoroughly treated at all and can suddenly overcome speech impediment once he accepts

his surrounding social situation. He really has no vocabulary or pronounciation problems, just a little stumbles here and there, a few quirky repeats, a few off- kilter statements, a few simplistic, childish speeches. I think that if Verne was real, he would unfortunately never be able to carry on a conversation with

typical language. His chances of being a piano prodigy wouldn't be too

excellent....okay, you get the idea.

One last criticism: the acting of Verne in this film was not very strong. I realize this was a low budget feature with no real "name" actors attached, etc. However, Dustin Hoffman is an accomplished actor who takes his character studies to the limit. His taste for reseach and observation/immitation almost always brings

believability-- at least a considerable degree--to his roles, Rainman being no exception. In this case, the actor to play Verne seemingly went to little more trouble then to take cues from the director just before the take. "Ok, actors ready. Verne, umm...., rock back and forth....and act like you need to go to the

bathroom. Okay? Okay. Roll Sound. Roll Camera."

And so on... anyway, I honestly don't know how much research went into the

role of Verne, and it very well may have been treated with care. But I honestly didn't get that impression. Verne's place in the film ranged from comic relief to agency for change for the main character to superficial change into a sociable, well-adjusted guy. I just didn't think he was treated with respect. The only

mention/serious handling of his condition was with a doctor of sorts who spoke on his autism only in passing. If you wanted to leave this film as is, why not just cut that scene and claim that Verne is just a kooky, weird guy instead of a

character with autism, a guy who would have been dealing with a serious

condition all of his life and probably wouldn't have come out so socially apt.


5 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed